Howie Reeve and Mike Watt have announced the release of a self-titled collaborative 7″ which is due out on 11th September via The Audacious Art Experiment. You can stream the first track off it, Absent Friends, above, in which Brother Mike takes vocals and Brother Howie lead bass.

Both being masters of the bass it was kind of inevitable these two would meet up some day, and with Mike Watts’ reputation as a serial collaborator (a result of the fact that he’s easily the most humble, approachable and hard-working of artists around) it was equally kinda inevitable they’d end up “getting it on” together. And with Louder Than War are champions of both (see our in-depth interview with Brother Howie here, and our in depth interviews with Mike Watt here, here and here) we couldn’t be happier that they’ve chosen our humble organ to announce the release to the world!

Sheffield DIY collective The Audacious Art Experiment, who are dedicated to championing DIY, local community projects and independent music, will be releasing the special two-track 7″ on which each artist has taken the lead on one song, with the other fleshing out the idea with vocals.

Glaswegian acoustic avant-pop solo bass artist Howie Reeve may not have been around the block quite as many times as Mike but clearly they seem to be two very like-minded souls, and the track above could easily be mistaken as purely a work of either artist.

The tracks feature an idea and lead from each of them, complemented by the other person’s poetic vocal lines and they’re woven neatly together in a “portrait painted” style. The bass playing in Absent Friends sounds like classic Mike Watt, albeit led by Brother Howie on this track, in that it showcases taut, sinewy and extremely confident picking! Meanwhile the subdued, avuncular spoken word intonations over the bass playing are classic Watt, with the whole having a timeless avant-folk feel.

Being a collective that is run autonomously and aside from government funding, the release marks a milestone in The Audacious Art Experiment 11 year history, and it’s great that this release has come about as it gives us an opportunity to shine a light on one of the unsung heroes of the UK independent music scene.

You can pre-order the release from The Audacious Art Experiment’s Bandcamp. The single will be a limited run of 300 7″‘s so you’re advised to “get in quick” if you want one!

Below are upcoming live dates for Mike (with Cuz) and Howie.

howie mike

Both Howie and Mike Watt have some live dates coming up. Howie’s are:

  • August 22nd Doune the Rabbit Hole
  • August 23rd Manchester Islington Mill with The Ex
  • September 7th Glasgow Stereo with Cuz and Sumshapes
  • September 8th Edinburgh Sneaky Pete’s with Cuz
  • October 17th Manchester Cord Bar (A Carefully Planned Festival)
  • October 23rd London Club Integral

Meanwhile Mike Watt is on tour across the UK and EU from September. The full tour can be found here, and the UK dates are below…

26th Aug – 12th Sept

  • Tuesday, September 1 In London, England At Corsica Studios
  • Wednesday, September 2 In Leicester, England At The Musician
  • Thursday, September 3 In Manchester, England At The Ruby Lounge
  • Friday, September 4 In Liverpool, England At The East Village Arts Centre
  • Saturday, September 5 In Portmeirion, Wales At The Festival No 6
  • Sunday, September 6 In Leeds, England At The Brudenell Social Club (Games Room)
  • Monday, September 7 In Glasgow, Scotland At Stereo
  • Tuesday, September 8 In Edinburgh, Scotland At Sneaky Pete’s
  • Wednesday, September 9 In Newcastle, England At The Cluny
  • Thursday, September 10 In Nottingham, England At The Maze
  • Friday, September 11 In Exeter, England At The Cavern
  • Saturday, September 12 In Brighton, England At Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar


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Guy is a former full time member of the Louder Than War editorial team, who's since moved on to pastures new. Music's been a large part of his life since he first stumbled across Peel on his tranny as a fifteen year old. His whole approach to music was learnt from Peel in fact, which includes having as inclusive a taste in music as possible. Guy devotes most of his time looking for new music & although he's been known to say "the only good music is new music" he pretty much accepts this is bollocks. Favourite band The Minutemen.


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